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Harvester Ants

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Harvester ants will haul food several times their size back to their mound. (Photo by Cathryn Hoyt)

You’ve seen their sprawling, barren mounds, like little moonscapes in your field or lawn. You’ve probably seen them lugging seeds back to their home. You may have even felt the burn of their sting. We know them as harvester ants—so named because they harvest seeds. But what do they do with these seeds? And why do they build their conspicuous mounds?